27th-29th November 2009


Over the last month the weather in the UK has been diabolical with massive flooding and many severe weather warnings for high winds and torrential rain. The further north you went the worse it got. If our winter course in Wales was going to be a success I needed brave individuals of high moral character to risk the elements and practise in whatever conditions nature could throw at us for over ten hours of outdoor training spread across two days... I don’t know anyone like that but luckily I have a club membership consisting of the clinically insane and once I’d loaded them onto the 17 seater mini bus with the added lure of beer I locked the doors and headed north out of London.

On arrival in Wales we were met by Sensei Mike Reay who had once again honoured us by travelling down from Sheffield to train alongside us and also run a Ju Jitsu session. Between us we decided what concessions we should make in view of the weather conditions. The answer was quite simple – none.

At 5.30am on Saturday morning the rain was beating down on the roof so hard that you didn’t really need an alarm clock to wake you up. But as we all headed out into the dark it stopped right on queue. Rain not actually falling didn’t really help conditions much underfoot and it required careful steps to stay upright as we crossed the water sodden field at the forests edge. It was only later once daylight started to break at about 6.45 that you realised just how bad things were and that what should have been grass was really just a cunningly disguised field of 2 inch deep brown slime.

The second session was headed by Sensei Reay and it wasn’t long before wrist and arm locks had us heading to the floor with a satisfying squish sound. We’ve all seen those adverts on TV that say certain brands of washing powder can removed any stain. Well I can guarantee the so called experts have never tested it with a white gi after one of Sensei Reay’s outdoor classes. Our luck continued with the rain and although it fell heavily at random times all weekend we only got a light soaking from above on all but the last session.

We all learn things in life as we go along and I now know not to stand directly in front of my students barking orders to kick harder if they are all stood ankle deep in freezing cold slime. Welsh mud has a rather unpleasant taste.

The last session for Sunday started at 11am and as the heavens opened we headed into the forest. After two and a half hours and despite my best efforts no student gave up and no one actually died. But I think the memories forged there will be with people for some time to come. I would like to thanks Darren and Sensei Reay for the help and support they gave me during the weekend and beyond.

This year provided more memorable quotes than I had bits of paper available to note them on. Sadly for potential legal reasons I couldn’t use 90% of them and another 5% had way too much swearing to be sanitised so here are the best of the rest. In my usual tradition I have taken quotes out of contexts or made minor “improvements” to satisfy my own sick version of humour. If you didn’t attend the course it’s unlikely you’ll understand any of this.... but that’s your fault not mine.

1. “I think I need something to improve and focus your punching. Luckily I’ve got just the thing.....”

2. “Just imagine if you only had a stump.... now stick your stump out”

3. “I bowed as I entered the dojo and by the time I’d pulled my head back up they’d finished”

4. “Excellent.!! Gold finger by Shirley Bassey. I’m having a little dance to that...”

5. “But why would he have an automatic weapon tucked down the back of his underwear?”

6. “You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go PANTS DOWN! Things will be great with your PANTS DOWN!”

Sung loudly to the tune of Down Town by Petula Clark

7. “Oh yes please love. I’ll have the Shandy Bass.... NO.! The one from the bottom shelf please me darlin’ ”

Many thanks to all those who attended for training hard, never giving up and also for making it a good time

Karl Green
Back by popular demand

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P.S. Next year’s winter course is 12th-14th November 2010

Quotes revealed: 1.Karl. - 2.Darren. – 3.Susan. – 4.John. – 5.Jim. – 6.Steve. – 7.Mike.

Karl Green can easily be contacted with any complaints that you have been annoyed, taken offence or caused embarrassment by these quotes, you will however be completely ignored and you can rest assured that there are absolutely “NO REFUNDS”